PETA files FCC complaint over Sesame link to American Egg Board

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In a story headlined, “PETA Smacks Big Bird in D.C.,” Broadcasting & Cable writes that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has filed a complaint with the FCC against pubTV stations that air Sesame Street. Two problems, PETA says: The show is presenting a spot showing a sanitary poultry processing plant with children eating eggs and talking about their nutritive value. PETA has long contended that chickens raised for slaughter or egg production live in filthy, inhumane conditions. Also, PETA says the American Egg Board’s work is embedded in Sesame Street segments; the board is the industry promotional group created by Congress for egg producers. PETA wants fines and/or sanctions for stations carrying the show. According to the Sesame Workshop’s website, the show’s “Good Egg Project,” sponsored by the American Egg Board, “aims to educate families about how eggs get from the farm to their breakfast tables, along with the many health benefits of eating eggs.” PETA is also undertaking an email campaign targeted at the Workshop’s Gary Knell, president, and Patti Miller, veep of public policy. In a copy of the complaint provided to Current by PETA, its litigation counsel, Martina Bernstein, wrote that stations “breached their obligation to protect children from excessive and inappropriate commercial messages, in violation of the limits of the amount of commercial matter in children’s programming as well as the commission’s policy against host-selling.” PETA wants “a forfeiture penalty or other sanctions” against the stations. A spokesperson for the Workshop told Current its only statement is at the end of the Broadcasting & Cable article: “Sesame Workshop as a practice does not comment on pending legal matters.”

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